Am I an Adlerian?

Document Type


Publication Date

January 2007


I believe that Adlerian psychology is a perspectivist model, and that the more perspectives we bring to understanding an individual, the richer our understanding will be. Among the most important of Adlerian perspectives, I include those gained from an assessment of (a) family constellation and other systemic aspects of the sociohistorical family; (b) life tasks, including all those that might be considered supportive of Adler's original three; (c) teleology in both immediate goals and life movement; (d) developmental processes; (e) gender and cultural experiences; (f) individual parts, traits, and selves in movement; and (g) early recollections. Taken together, these perspectives lead to thick holistic descriptions, biographies-in-progress, the narratives of an individual's lifestyle. Such narratives are not merely stories coconstructed for the moment in the therapist's office. Rather, they are increasingly accurate descriptions of the real life that a real person is really living. It is from this perspectivist kind of knowing that a foundation is laid for the integration of other models. Other Adlerians prefer to integrate therapeutic interventions from social constructivist theories like narrative therapy and solution-focused therapy. Like Adler, I believe that making a contribution is the meaning you achieve in life. Like Adler, I believe that the principles of Individual Psychology will sustain me where religion has not. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)

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